We move forward from two successful exhibitions in 2016 in Prague and in the USA to the challenge of an exhibition in the Netherlands in the Autumn. We continue to work on A2 sized pieces in portrait format and will be producing four pieces over the year with the theme of 'Freedom'. An essential part of our art is working in series to a common format which does give us all a framework for our creative endeavours.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Under the Surface

A  photograph of pebbles reflecting light underwater was my starting point for this piece. For this series I wanted to explore further using concentrated dye pigment on wet fabric without using thickener to get looser  effects. So I worked on damp cotton then loosely painted images which when dry I then discharged a little - in this case to get a mottled lighter effect for the pebbles.  I then used dye pigment sticks almost like crayons to add more colour ( Inktense, and Conte Wax aquarelle) and shadows to the pebbles, (again on damp fabric).

 I find for this technique I need a high thread count cotton like pima cotton or lawn for it to work well, it needs to have a smooth tight surface to work.  I use a very weak solution of matt medium after I have iron fixed the colours to ensure they stay fixed! It does affect the handle a little but for this size piece I am not too concerned.

The whole piece was machine quilted to emphasize the outline of the pebbles using a variegated thread. The light reflection was added last using flecks of gold leaf applied with ormaline.

The detail will hopefully show  the discharged speckles and the added colour a little more clearly.

Whilst I am pleased with the overall effect of the pebbles I would like to work on the background more on another piece. The photo had the light, soft and smooth sand as the riverbed but I think with a little artistic licence I could jazz it up a bit!


  1. You have really succeeded in creating the right effect Jean. I like this piece! I also bought Inktense a while ago, but have only used it on paper. I'm definately going to try it on fabric as well.

  2. You certainly achieved the subtlety of the wet look in this- just that bit of white on some of the pebbles makes it look transparent and wet- great effect!

  3. Incredible Jean - the pebbles really do look wet! I will be interesting to see how you progress.

  4. Wow! Very good Jean. I feel as if my hand will get wet if I try to pick up a pebble!

  5. Looks amazing, Jean, so realistic. Just glistening with water. Such beautiful colours too.

  6. This is so beautiful and inspiring. Since I have chosen water for this year, I hope I can learn from your techniques.